Hotstar launches VIP subscription service for originals, live sports | OTT | News | Rapid TV News
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Star India’s video streaming platform Hotstar has unveiled another subscription layer called Hotstar VIP, offering exclusive Indian drama and premium live sports.

Hotstar VIP logo 19 March 2019For INR 365 per year, the service will stream new content under the recently launched Hotstar Specials brand, popular TV series from the Star network and live sports including the Indian Premier League (IPL), ICC Cricket World Cup and Premier League football.

The new subscription layer will be offered in addition to the Hotstar Premium subscription that will continue to be priced at INR999 a year. Existing subscribers of Hotstar’s All Annual Sports plan will automatically be upgraded to Hotstar VIP.

“It is our endeavour at Hotstar to delight customers with content that they resonate with, at the same time give them the power of choice at an affordable cost. Hotstar VIP is aimed at providing users accessibility – be it with the introductory price or the ability to watch exclusive new shows in multiple regional languages. It is a value proposition built with the Indian audience at the heart of it,” said Varun Narang, chief content officer, Hotstar.

The launch of Hotstar VIP coincides with the release of the first Hotstar Special, Roar of the Lion. Based on Chennai Super Kings amazing comeback under the leadership of M.S. Dhoni, Roar of the Lion will be joined on the digital platform by City of Dreams, Hostages and the Indian versions of UK hits Criminal Justice and The Office, among other original content.

Hotstar has tied up with 15 filmmakers, including Bollywood royalty Salman Khan and Shekhar Kapur, to produce its original content. Hotstar Specials will be produced in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu and then dubbed in seven more Indian languages, including Marathi, Bengali and Malayalam to extend their regional appeal.

The exclusive content will rival that being made by US streaming giants Netflix and Amazon in India, as well as other popular domestic streaming services such as ZEE5 and AltBalaji

To make it more accessible to the mass market, Star’s over-the-top (OTT) platform will allow customers in India to pay for Hotstar VIP by cash, in an innovative pilot project allowing users to have their subscription money collected from their doorstep about 24-48 hours after sign up. Hotstar will also allow customers to long in with their phone numbers.

Hotstar’s existing free tier will continue to be offered without change.

Hotstar is India’s largest OTT video platform, with 350 million downloads and over 150 million monthly active users.